Transparency, consistency, need of the hour: Calderon

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Transparency, consistency, need of the hour: Calderon

Former Mexican president says transparent communication enhances a country’s attractiveness to foreign investors and leads to registering sustainable profit and revenue.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Tue 25 Feb 2014, 1:16 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:35 PM

There is currently an obvious lack of trust among governments, and the only way to change this and build credibility among people and the media is through transparency and consistency, said Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico.

In his keynote address at the first session of Sharjah International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) 2014 titled ‘Role of Government Communications and Reputation Management in Attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Calderón said: “It is important to note that improving perception through transparent communication enhances a country’s attractiveness to foreign investors and leads to registering sustainable profit and revenue.”

Calderon stressed that it is imperative to create channels for interacting with the youth and people to convey political messages and policies.

Observing the role of government communication in enhancing the reputation of the state to achieve growth and drive investment inflows, James Wolfensohn former President of the World Bank Group, said: “The current global system does not make it easy to build a sense of coherence about the future, which is why predictability is a must.

Speaking about the challenges and lessons learnt from the experiences of other countries, and citing the UAE as an example, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs said: “Consistency with policy is regarded as a key pillar in improving reputation. The UAE has chosen a clear path to accomplish this objective.”

“Each country has its own set of challenges and opportunities with regards to drawing foreign investments. In the UAE, I believe we have established our own mechanisms to respond to such challenges through addressing the issues at the internal level before conveying our strategy to the external world.”

He concluded: “There is an inaccurate portrayal of the UAE, and for that we mainly need to change the narrative. Government communication is a necessity because governments have multiple layers of messaging and the narrative has to be built according to the specific message you are trying to portray in a transparent and credible manner.”

“It is worth noting that recent studies have reiterated that countries that have succeeded in raising the level of their reputation by just five degrees on the international reputation index enjoy additional tourist incomes annually as long as their reputation is maintained. A good reputation worldwide works to attract people to invest, visit and stay in the country, buy national products, study, work, and enjoy the services.

Tim Sebastian, former presenter of BBC’s popular ‘HARDtalk’, moderated the discussions.

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